Jun 212019


Since it’s the summer solstice today, it seemed important to commemorate the event with a selection of new songs. And since festival-binging and assorted other commitments have prevented me from preparing a round-up for the last nine days, it seemed all the more imperative. The array of choices that have surfaced in recent weeks has been extravagant. From my efforts to make a dent in my listening-list last night, I chose these five, with hopefully more to come this weekend.


September seems very far away, but patience will undoubtedly be rewarded because that month will bring us a new album by Blood Red Throne. Their ninth full-length in a career that began in 1998, Fit To Kill will be discharged by Mighty Music on the lucky 13th of September, and includes cover artwork designed by Giannis Nakos.

Struggling with the challenges of patience have been eased somewhat by the appearance earlier this week of a new track named “Skyggemannen” (which premiered at DECIBEL), accompanied by a video clip of the band performing the song for the first time together, at the Grabbenacht festival in Germany. Continue reading »

May 072016

Denouncement Pyre-Black Sun Unbound


Some people may have noticed that I failed to compile even one round-up of new music all of this past week (unless you count that little Warriors in Forests thing). I’ve still been spending hours every afternoon or evening in a hospital ICU trying to help support my injured friend and her family.

For those of you who have been following my scattered references to this tragedy, my friend came out of her coma yesterday, though she still drifts in and out of consciousness and is now beset with other medical issues in addition to her injury.  It’s too soon to tell exactly how seriously impaired she will be as a result of the injury to her brain.  She can answer some simple yes or no questions by moving her fingers or foot, but she hasn’t attempted to speak and doesn’t move much. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but this is still heart-breaking.

Though I haven’t had time to do much for NCS this week besides write introductions to premieres, I have been keeping a list of new song and album streams and videos that I’ve noticed. As usual, there’s a shitload of them, far too many to write about in one post. I picked a handful to include in this post (and Austin Weber wrote an introduction to one of them as well). I’m also planning to prepare a Shades of Black post for tomorrow to collect others. Continue reading »

Apr 012016

Beastwars The Death of All Things Cover


NCS Introduction: We have a two-fold treat for you in this post. First, we have the privilege of premiering for you a song from the new album by New Zealand’s amazing Beastwars. And second, we have an introduction to the song by New Zealand metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes — and I want to take this opportunity to mention that Craig is in the final days of a crowdfunding campaign to turn his Six Noises blog into a first-stop (and first-class) portal for anyone investigating “radical sonic arts” from New Zealand, and thus a more visible and successful platform for supporting and promoting New Zealand underground music. This is a very worthy cause, and one to which I hope you will contribute (I did — twice). HERE is where you do that. Now, onward to Craig’s introduction and the new music of Beastwars….


The devilish goat Black Philip asks the ultimate question near the climax of the recent horror film The Witch: “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”

Really, there’s only one answer to that: of course you would. One brief life is all we get, and the sweet Dark Lord knows it often feels like our lives are jam-packed with enough misery to last three lifetimes.

So why not indulge our senses?

Why not purge all that pain? Continue reading »

Feb 052016

Beastwars 2016


This week’s flood of scintillating new metal hasn’t crested yet. The last 24 hours brought even more electrifying new songs. I’ve collected five of them here for your listening pleasure.


I’m afraid I’ve reached a slavish level of devotion to the music of New Zealand’s Beastwars. I couldn’t be happier that 2016 will bring us a new album. The new one is entitled The Death Of All Things, and it’s the last installment in the post-apocalyptic trilogy the band have been constructing through their music. Continue reading »

Jan 212014

Welcome to Part 8 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.


I thought this New Zealand band’s self-titled 2011 debut was stunning. The fact that they managed to top it with their second album in 2013 was genuinely impressive. Blood Becomes Fire (which I reviewed here) triumphs on the strength of Matt Hyde’s utterly dominating vocals and a phalanx of compelling, sludgy Clayton Anderson riffs. Add in James Woods’ bass lines, which mimic the grinding of tectonic plates deep in the Earth, and Nathan Hickey’s bone-breaking drumwork, and you get metal that’s as apocalyptically heavy as it is neck-snapping.

This was one of many albums released last year that had more than one song I thought was deserving of recognition on this list, but after many replays of this album, “Dune” has come out on top. I wrote in my review that “Matt Hyde has soul, and when he sings it sounds like he’s hacking up hot, smoking chunks of it.” You’ll understand what I mean when you listen to “Dune”. It’s also marked by massive chugging, a bass guitar that grinds like giant grit-encrusted gears about to lock up, and riffs that punch and rumble. It’s an intense song, but one that’s also physically compulsive. Continue reading »

Nov 072013

Wouldn’t you know it. I embarked on a trip for my job before the sun came up yesterday, only to find by nightfall that some infernal bastard had dynamited the levy and loosed a flood of good metal while I was otherwise occupied. Too much stuff surged through the hole yesterday for just one post. Too much for two posts, but that’s probably all I can manage today.

In this one I have new videos that I think you might like. In the next one will be new songs. Prepare your anus. (I know that’s not really my style, but I see bands say that on Facebook and I thought I would be more cool if I said it. Honestly, I have no interest in your anus. But you sure got a perty mouth.)


California’s Exmortus have an album coming next year on the Prosthetic label, but in advance of that Prosthetic has released a 7″ single called Immortality Made Flesh. The title song is one that will appear on the album and the b-side is a cover of Judas Priest’s “Freewheel Burning”. Yesterday, Metal Injection premiered a video of the band executing the title track in a jam room (with the studio recording as the soundtrack). Hot damn, is it invigorating! Continue reading »

Mar 272013

For the second time today I realized I was a day early with a couple of yesterday’s posts. Yesterday I posted a review of the forthcoming second album by New Zealand’s BeastwarsBlood Becomes Fire — which in my opinion will stand as one of the best albums of 2013 when this year draws to a close. And then today Beastwars began giving away a song from the album.

As it happens, that song is one of the two I like best out of a collection that’s very strong from start to finish. Its name is “Caul of Time”, and it’s a good example of the power and the passion that runs throughout the album. It’s also heavy as hell.

Go HERE to stream and download the track on Bandcamp. I also want to stitch it into the fabric of NO CLEAN SINGING, so it’s also streaming at this site right after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 262013

Matt Hyde has soul, and when he sings it sounds like he’s hacking up hot, smoking chunks of it. And while he vomits up his own soul in a vocal conflagration, his bandmates in Beastwars will pull yours down into an abyss. But you won’t mind. You’ll be too busy banging your head, caught up in the power of the riff.

I don’t mean to take anything away from the united contributions of the band as a whole, but when I think back on Beastwars’ stellar second album, Blood Becomes Fire, those are the two ingredients that leap to mind first — Hyde’s utterly dominating vocals and a phalanx of compelling, sludgy Clayton Anderson riffs. Add in James Woods’ bass lines, which mimic the grinding of tectonic plates deep in the Earth, and Nathan Hickey’s bone-breaking drumwork, and you get metal that’s as apocalyptically heavy as it is neck-snapping.

As far as I’m concerned, this New Zealand band had nothing else to prove after only one album. Their 2011 self-titled debut was that good. But although Beastwars may not have needed to prove anything after their first album, they have proved that they will have staying power, because their second one is even better than the debut. Continue reading »

Jan 032013

This is Part 7 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click here.

When I started the rollout of this list, I explained that I had expanded the range of my metal listening during 2012. I even opened my mind to more music in the stoner/doom vein despite (gasp!) the presence of clean vocals, because there’s so much meat on those riff bones, and I do love a pulverizing riff.

Genre boundaries blur, and I don’t think either of the bands whose songs I’m adding to our list today clearly fit into that stoner/doom category, though there’s some kinship.  Their classic riffs bring the beef in truckloads and their vocals are (sort of) clean. In fact, ironically, for me the vocals have been a main draw for both of these bands.


Houston-based Venomous Maximus are yet another band with a superb 2012 album that we never got around to reviewing. I feel especially guilty about that, given how many aural orgasms Beg Upon the Light has given me. Continue reading »

Nov 152012

In this post are four new things I saw and heard today.  I saw and heard other things today, such as the sight of the Sun (which is worth reporting, given that it’s November in Seattle) and the explosive sound of my own voice when I put weight on my fucked-up ankle the wrong way. That was about as close as I’ve ever come to thinking I could do vocals for a black metal band.

Well, as painful as it is for me to say this, “enough about me”. Here are new videos from Beyond Creation (Canada), Welicoruss (Russia), and Beastwars (New Zealand). The Welicoruss and Beastwars songs are also brand new and will appear on forthcoming albums. But first . . . the debut of a remastered song from . . .


As you may know, Relapse Records has been re-issuing remastered editions of albums by Death. The latest is the band’s 1990 record, Spiritual Healing. This is a two-disc release, with the first one featuring a complete remaster of the original album and the second one including 16 previously unreleased rehearsal recordings, outtakes, and studio instrumentals. If you spring for the limited edition digipack, you’ll also get a third CD of a never-before-released live set recorded in 1990. And if you download the album from iTunes, you’ll get 5 previously unreleased pre-Human rehearsal tracks that aren’t included on either of the CD versions.

Well, enough with the free advertising. The reason I’m writing about Death today is that today Guitar World premiered one of the remastered tracks from Spiritual Healing: “Altering the Future”. You can hear that after the jump, along with the remastered version of “Living Monstrosity”, which appeared earlier. Continue reading »